All posts by steve

Administrator, nuff said?

News – whether you want it or not

News blackout – it’s nice in theory but as a practical proposition, possible? What am I on about you might say, well for a while I’ve been attempting to avoid the news. I’m not burying my head in the sand just trying to remove negativity from my life. I’m tired of been force fed an agenda based on a politics and media ownership.

After listening to Darren Hardy (one of the many positivity resellers out there) he’s got a point that news is bad, starting off with breakfast it sets the tone for the day – it just continues to play on your mind and is continuously re-enforced during the day. As I said I try to avoid it, to quote Simon and Garfunkel ‘I get all the news I need on the weather report’ I could use my phone for that, but I guess I like to see someone telling how the weather was yesterday as a precursor to telling what today’s might be. So news is generally avoided – or so you think.

Facebook and Twitter are more and more becoming News Outlets, whilst you can tailor who you follow you can’t avoid the trending column. It’s as tempting as the D*ily M*il’s side bar of shame, just less embarrassing to use. I could drop Facebook altogether, but the friends element of it is a part I would miss.

So what next, I think more granular control is required. Silencing utterly useless ‘Updates’ sites which mainly appear to recycle news from other News Organisations (although part of me loves to read the comments as a human interest study). I just need to learn control over the trending topics, it’s just clickbait. Twitter news hasn’t appeared to be an issue, maybe it’s a good distraction from all the adverts they’re trying to force on me.

Hello World

After taking a short break from the world of blogging, I have returned. Nothing has really changed much – no reason for not blogging other than I just couldn’t be bothered. So back to normal then!!!!!

Oh, my previous guest blogger is returning – I still have no idea who it is.

Something changed

Well if you’ve been looking at this site for a few months without any updates, then yes somethings changed.

So before changes, let talk triathlons. I did manage to complete both I set out to do – both were quite tiring, but enjoyable – If I can I might try another this year. If not there’s more next year.

Other than that I’m happy with the outcome of the training.

So what’s changed, well it’s a little thing – but my love for my bank is waning. I know you can’t actually love a bank, so maybe it’s the goodwill, possibly the hope that they might have had my interests at heart.

The trigger was Apple Pay – I hoped that Barclays might have been a launch partner for it, but no – they are quite happy to continue to innovate with things like paying cheques (an outdated and possibly going away soon payment process) via the banking app (yes I have used it – and possibly will use it next week!) and a top up payment system called bpay (which I think is a Barclaycard thing).

It’s my fault for being an Apple whore I guess, however I have these gadgets so I’d like to use them. Looking for an alternative bank was easy – I did initially sign up to First Direct, but they annoyed me by not calling me back about something, so I closed this account within a few days. During this close down I opened a Santander account, which was simple and easy (as was First Direct).

The Visa Debit card arrived quite fast and once in my possession I was able to transfer money to my account, withdraw a tenner and then sign up for Apple Pay (seems to be a condition that the account has to be used for it to work). Work it certainly does, I’m not going to bang on about Apple Pay – but it’s quick and simple to use with my watch for small purchases.

Seems Yardley hasn’t seen much Apple Pay action judging by the double take you get when you use it. The reaction of others isn’t why I’ve got it. But it’s interesting to see people who aren’t tech orientated discovering it.

Moving on from Apple Pay – a different bank account should be much the same as what I had before, right? Well, it seems not – just little things like a weekly email of my transactions and I can set an alert based on balance. These small things make a difference. The transition from Barclays is well under way now. I have a Barclaycard (yes, entirely my fault) with a balance. Should say had one, as I transferred the balance to Mr Beardy Branson’s Money organisation – with a 3 year 0%

Barclaycard bless them, told me I was a valuable customer and have been for a decade and a half. They could have offered me 0% for a year (which might have been nice) and after the balance transfer offered me a credit for, now wait for it………£50 to keep the card. I didn’t

So one account down, possibly a few more to go. I’m slowly moving my current account to Santander after being with Barclays for 27 years. I could use the switch guarantee service, but I have an odd 2nd account which I’m one Direct Debit away from sorting. Once this is done then I’ll use the switch service to close the accounts.

Next move?, well I have a couple of other accounts plus the joint account and Mortgage – a bit extreme because of Apple Pay – might be, but people don’t move banks do they? – I’ve started and the process seems relatively simple.

What Happened?

Nothing too dramatic, first a bad back which prevented running for 3 weeks – now it’s a cold which seems to be preventing anything.  Hopefully i’ll be back to normal in the next few days.

Training Update 4

Training I’m sure if done right is all about routine – well for me I have a sort of training routine with regards to days:

Currently on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – I try to do around 50/60 minutes of swimming.

Tuesday and Thursdays are my running days.

(Monday to Friday I cycle to work as well)

Currently the swimming is going well. I still try to do 64 lengths, but I’m starting to work on line and pace.

The run was always a tricky one to get motivated by – not sure why as I enjoy it, for some reason on the run days I woke up worn out. So I decided to change things a little. On these days I get up and out of the house early and try to get to the office for around 07:00 – then I’ll start my run. Initially it was to Edgbaston Reservoir, do one circuit then come back (6.1k) – now this is a longer distance than previously attempted, but recent weekend runs gave me the confidence to do it.

So after a few sessions of 6.1k I decided to step it up a little – on the weekend just gone I thought i’d push to around 7-8k, turns out I did 9km – which was quite tiring, but nice to complete. I have now altered my weekday runs, I’m still at the reservoir, but I’ll do two laps instead – the pace isn’t great – but it’s a nice distance to build on (8.8km)